Best Camera Poses for Portrait Photography

Taking a series of bad photos can be frustrating, especially if you have the pose you want for an Instagram or Facebook post that you have in mind.

If you aren’t a professional model or influencer, getting the right shot can be pretty intimidating. Starting with simple poses that you know will work goes a long way.

Sometimes it’s not you – maybe your photographer has their angles wrong, or you don’t have the perfect lighting to highlight your best features. We all have insecurities, especially with body features: a crooked nose, a round belly, height issues … you name it. These also come to play when we take photos, affecting how we pose.

Today, we will cover the best camera poses and tips and tricks to help you take perfect shots in the future and look more confident as you do it.

Table of Contents

Why Do People Pose?

We take photos as keepsakes, and who doesn’t want to save their best memory? Knowing how to pose can help you become more confident and love your photos for years to come.

The first step to learning how to pose is understanding the reasons behind it. Women usually pose to accentuate their best features, make themselves look curvier, and show off their best facial features.

When a man poses, their focus usually shifts to looking more masculine, fit, and tall. Their poses are geared toward exuding confidence, but men also focus on accentuating features like broad shoulders or their jawlines. 

All of this falls under portrait photography – expressing yourself through photos using resources such as lighting, your background, and camera poses.

Before Posing …

Fix Your Lighting

Good lighting can instantly change your picture for the better. Light will make you look bright and fresh while highlighting your best features.

When taking a photo, take the shot in the same direction the light is shining to prevent awkward shadows. You don’t have to go outside to get natural light. Stand near an open door or window to leverage the light from the sun.

There are also tools such as ring lights that you can use to improve lighting indoors, and if that doesn’t work out, you can leverage popular editing tools.

best camera poses

Choose Your Best Outfit

This is vital, especially if you haven’t been feeling confident. You probably have several outfits in your closet that you know look good on you, which is the best confidence booster. If you plan on taking a full-body shot, go for an outfit that flatters your curves and has colors that complement your skin tone. Now you have good lighting, confidence, and the best colors for your photo.

Play With Angles

Getting the best shot requires working the right angles – unless you’re taking a passport photo. You can choose to take a picture at a high angle, low angle, or eye-level position depending on what you want to focus on. Remember that you will look bigger if the camera is too close to you and smaller as the camera person moves further away.

Stay Calm

Taking photos can be intimidating, and you may end up overthinking your poses and messing them up. The key to exuding confidence is to keep calm and go with what feels good. Your smile will be more genuine, and your poses will be more fluid.


Check out other people’s poses. You can go through social media pages and keep a folder of poses you feel are simple enough to start with or something you’d want to try when you become comfortable taking the perfect shots.

Powder Your Highlights

The camera has a habit of highlighting grease spots. For instance, the light will illuminate an oily forehead or oily cheeks. Before you take your photos, blot your face to remove oil. If you use makeup, use the kind that caters to oily skin.

The Best Camera Poses for Women

The Walk

You’re not trying to make your poses obvious, and walking makes the photo look unstaged, giving the picture a natural, carefree look. Try walking toward the camera while looking into the distance, and then change it up and look toward the camera.

When doing this, have the photographer take burst photos to capture subtle changes in motion as you walk. You can also do small elaborate steps to give the photographer time to take the perfect shot.

If your outfit has an interesting pattern or cuts on the back that you want to show off, try walking away from the camera and looking back slowly. This also makes it look candid, like you weren’t aware of the photographer’s presence.

Foot Movement

Foot movements can bring out cool poses. For instance, if you’re conscious about having big hips, try moving one foot forward and one foot back, then place all your weight on your back leg. This naturally gives you a narrower appearance, and if the photographer stands a bit further from you, the resulting picture will include a bit of depth and background.

There are many poses that include foot movement. You can also cross your legs in front to make your hips look curvier, and if you bend backward slightly, your waist will look smaller, and you’ll achieve the hourglass figure.

Hold Your Hip

This should look as natural as possible. Place your hand on your hip and stand with your legs apart. The hand on your hip should be light and not rigid. Raise your shoulder and tilt back. The photographer should take the picture from slightly below your eye level. With this hip pose, you’ll look leaner and taller with this angle.

Activity Photo

Take photos in the middle of an activity. For instance, after a coffee run with your latte, or holding some flowers, a pretty cocktail, a book, a nice purse, or a handbag. The prop should blend with your photo and not look forced, e.g., you shouldn’t have a coffee cup near the beach.

Raise Your Hands

Raising your hands gives you a more petite upper body. You can raise both hands and lean on one side for a curvier look. Or hold both hands above your head for a sultry look.

The Best Camera Poses for Men

Lean Against a Wall

This can be an excellent body pose – you can have your front body facing the camera while your hands are flattened against the wall behind you. Remember to lean forward slightly.

Your hands shouldn’t look tense, so make the wall holding as light as possible. This brings attention to your shoulders. You can also bend your leg backward at the knee so that your foot is flat against the wall as well. This gives a relaxed look while making you look athletic.

Lean Forward

You can choose to sit, spread your feet, and lean forward to show confidence. This is a classic pose you’ll see everywhere on social media. If you don’t want to look too arrogant, give the photographer a slight smile.

Another way to lean forward is to use a ledge. Place your arms on top of a ledge and lean on them. This accentuates your arms, so take advantage of this pose if you have muscular arms. Ensure that you place your arms away from your body.

Cross Your Arms

Crossing your arms is a more corporate look. Try not to look too stiff, so relax your arms a little to look more inviting and soften your facial features. You can raise your eyebrows a little bit so that you look less serious and add a smile.

Angle Your Face

We are all fond of a masculine jawline. You can angle your face in such a way that your jawline looks angular and sharp, accentuating your masculinity. The 45-degree angle can help you achieve this pose.

Slightly push your face outward instead of pulling your chin back to avoid a double chin. We encourage female models to angle their faces to face the camera, but for the male pose, try slightly tilting your head away from the camera.

Keep Your Hands Busy

If you’re taking a picture while standing, don’t let your hands flop around. Instead, fix your tie, hold the lapels of your jacket, or put your hands in your pockets.

Fixing your tie will make your hands look bigger. Placing your hands on your pockets may make you look friendly or arrogant, depending on whether your facial features are softened or not.

You can even let one hand loose and place one in your pocket to look friendlier. For a more serious look, place your hand on your chin.

Final Thoughts

See, you don’t need to make complicated bends and turns for the best camera poses. Simple poses are all it takes to get a good photo and can still accentuate your best features and make for exciting memories.

Remember that people are always coming up with new, exciting poses, so make sure to look into platforms like Pinterest and Instagram for poses you may want to try. The key to taking a good photo is getting yourself a good camera, photographer, lighting, and boosting your own confidence. Try our poses, and let us know how it goes.